Your new best friend

If you’re about to graduate from college, congratulations! And, if you’ve taken out student loans Click here to learn about third-party website links, guess what?

You have a new best friend.

If you took out federal loans Click here to learn about third-party website links, you may have already been through an “exit counseling” Click here to learn about third-party website links session. That’s where they tell you all about your rights (blah, blah, blah) and responsibilities (blah, blah, blah) as a student loan borrower.

With the excitement of graduation looming, you may have only heard "blah, blah, blah" during this session. But your responsibilities as a borrower are important. So let me boil them down to one easy-to-remember rule: Treat your student loan lender like your new best friend.

Got it?

Now let me break it down a little further …

  • When you make a life change, you tell your friends. Well, since your lender is your new best friend, remember to tell them when you change your name, when you move to a new address, change your Social Security number, or if your school status changes.
  • If you’re in trouble, you tell a friend, right? If you’re having problems making your student loan payments, tell your lender—don’t hide from them. Your lender can help you work out a payment plan and avoid default Click here to learn about third-party website links.

  • You wouldn’t borrow money from a friend and try to get out of repaying it. You can’t do it to your student loan lender either. You HAVE TO repay your loan as agreed. No exceptions if you didn’t finish school, didn’t like your major, can’t find a job, yada, yada, yada.

  • If your friends can’t get  hold of you for a few days, you don’t ditch them. Same with your lender—if you don’t get your bill, YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY IT. There’s no "get a free month" if your bill doesn’t arrive for whatever reason.

  • You go to your friends’ parties. Consider entrance and exit counseling sessions less-than-exciting parties given by a great friend. You gotta go.

  • You read texts, emails and IMs from your friends. You new friend will probably get in touch with you in a more traditional way—like through the mail Click here to learn about third-party website links. But you’re required to open and read everything your lender sends you. So, hello mailbox!

  • For better or worse, relationships change. Learn about your consolidation and refinancing options—these could be good things for you. But you also have to know what will happen if things go south in your relationship with your lender—as in, if you default. (Don’t do it, it’s so not good.)
  • Know how to reach your friends. This is Friendship 101—you KNOW their phone numbers, addresses, etc.  Same with your lender—be sure you know where to send payments and written correspondence.

There you have it. Follow these rules, and you’re sure to stay on good terms with your new best friend. Any questions?

About Caroline Hanson

Caroline is a communications consultant for Wells Fargo Education Financial Services. Although she has been known to forget her own ZIP code, she has memorized the lyrics to every bad 1970s pop song ever written. Unfortunately, she also loves karaoke. Caroline spends her spare time at Target®. She also likes biking slowly and has participated in RAGBRAI. Caroline is a graduate of Iowa State University and has worked in journalism and public relations for the past 14 years. She lives in Iowa with her husband and has a 19-year-old stepdaughter and 2-year-old son.
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7 Responses to Your new best friend

  1. Maria says:

    how can i mack an account.beacause im a student

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your the best

  3. Caroline Hanson says:

    Hi Maria,
    Wells Fargo does offer banking accounts designed especially for students. Our College Checking account has no minimum daily balance (there is a minimum opening balance requirement; the amount varies) plus you get a free check card, free online banking and bill pay along with it. You can apply for the account online or in-person at your local banking store. If you’d like more information about our banking services for students go to
    Thanks for your question, and feel free to email us if you want to know more.

  4. Pam says:

    How do I go about contacting my lenders?? I see the “notify your lender(s)” things everywhere, but nobody actually tells me how to do this!!

  5. Caroline Hanson says:

    Great question, Pam. I’m sure there are others wondering the same thing who have been too shy to ask, so I’m going to write a post about how to contact your lender. It’s coming soon.

  6. Isabella says:

    Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, amazing site!

The Student LoanDown

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